Bosses of smaller firms in the north-east of England might be wise to watch their finances after a recent report from Experian showed that they are most at risk of requiring insolvency advice.
The study revealed that micro businesses with one or two employees were the worst hit in terms of administration last month.
According to the annual data, there was a 25 per cent increase year-on-year increase in the number of such firms going to the wall in 12 months to September.
A total of 258 north-east micro businesses ceased to exist over that period and while this represents less than one per cent of the UK's total number of firms, it may be a wake-up call to those burying their heads in the sand and refusing to speak to insolvency practitioners about their troubles.
Despite the poor performance of smaller firms in the north-east, businesses across the UK should not rest on their laurels.
While larger companies seemed to fare better than their smaller peers, the insolvency rate across the country was up, with 0.09 per cent of British firms failing – up 0.08 per cent year-on-year.
Scottish companies showed the lowest insolvency rate at 0.07 per cent, but those in the West Midlands suffered a rise from 0.08 per cent a year ago to 0.11 per cent.
Food retailers were the hardest hit, with the data showing that oil firms enjoyed the most stability in terms of administrations.
Experian Business Information Services managing director Max Firth suggested that British bosses do their homework to ensure that their financial future is secure and they have no need of insolvency practitioners' services.
"While larger businesses bucked the trend in September, our analysis underlines how important it is that companies understand the financial strength of their customers, suppliers and business partners," he said.
"This kind of accessible and valuable insight can make all the difference to a business of any size."
Meanwhile, Experian also recently reported that UK micro businesses are having to show great resilience as late payment times are increasing.